Search

Arsenal legend hails Gunners defensive duo as ‘the perfect blend’

12:40 16 January 2014

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker (left) celebrates with team-mates Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny (right)

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker (left) celebrates with team-mates Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny (right)

EMPICS Sport

Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have been labelled “the perfect blend” after stretching their undefeated run as a defensive pairing to almost two years.

Following Monday’s 2-1 win at Aston Villa, Arsenal have not lost a single league game that has featured Mertesacker and Koscielny in tandem for the entire 90 minutes since January 2012.

In fact, Christian Benteke’s consolation goal was only the second time the Gunners have conceded in their last six games – and Arsenal legend Bob Wilson has hailed the Mertesacker-Koscielny partnership as a major factor in their overall improvement at the back this season.

“The defence as a unit has definitely got better,” said the former Gunners goalkeeper. “That is because they have played together for a while now.

“Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are the perfect blend. Per was getting criticised when he first came to the club, but I have always defended him.

“The stats don’t lie and he regularly wins more headers than any other centre- half in the league.

“In addition, Kieron Gibbs is magnificent and is unlucky that Leighton Baines is in front of him for England. Kieron is now better than the other left-back who used to play for us (Ashley Cole).

“Bacary Sagna has been absolutely terrific too, and we also have Carl Jenkinson coming through. Carl clearly loves playing for Arsenal and is blossoming – his devastating crosses are a big weapon and he has great pace too.

“I think [assistant manager] Steve Bould has had more than an influence on the defence. I don’t know that for sure – I am not at the training ground to watch his sessions – but I just smell it.”

The strength of the partnership between Mertesacker and Koscielny is such that Gunners club captain Thomas Vermaelen has been unable to force his way back into the side since returning from injury.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

07:56

The editor of long-running Arsenal fanzine The Gooner has revealed it is to close its print version.

Yesterday, 20:09

The first in an occasional series of Q&As with Arsenal fans. To kick it off we have Kevin Whitcher, editor of the The Gooner fanzine which been published continuously since the 1980s. Read on for his views...

Yesterday, 12:30

Mauricio Pochettino may have found a solution to Spurs’ previous woes at the national stadium

Yesterday, 10:26

Saracens’ Owen Farrell will reach a milestone for England after being selected to face Italy at Twickenham in the Six Nations – and there’s good news for another Saracens star.

Yesterday, 10:15

Nick Compton has agreed a deal to stay at Middlesex County Cricket Club for the next two seasons.

Yesterday, 09:53

Wealdstone have swooped for former Wycombe Wanderers and Bolton Wanderers left-back Ryan Sellers from Wingate & Finchley.

Thu, 23:10

Dane Eriksen disappointed with Europa League exit

Thu, 22:18

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Gent 2 (Gent win 3-2 on aggregate)

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now